Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

History of Architecture in Old Kuwait City (3)

I am quoting so much from Saleh Abdulghani Al-Mutawa. Architect, that you may think you don’t need to run out and buy the book but I assure you, I am only sharing with you a few of the gems I found within. The author has done so much research with such loving attention that the book is full of treasure, every page offers something worthy.

The Year of Demolish
It is a sad memorial in Kuwait’s history. In Rajab 1289 A.H. (i.e. in the middle of the nineteenth century), heavy rains accompanied by severe winds hit the old Kuwait city, and demolished most of the mud houses. Sea waves went high and hit and wrecked ships. It was a disaster for Kuwaitis.

A second natural disaster took place in Kuwait on 30 November 1954 when heavy rains fell and demolished houses and forced 18,000 Kuwaitis to seek refuge in newly built schools. Houses built of mud and a little cement were severely affected, while houses built of rock were not affected.

My Kuwait friends – tonight, instead of going out in your cars, stay home! Sit with your grandparents and ask them about the house they grew up in. Ask them about the meals they cooked. Ask them about the heavy rains, so heavy that they could destroy houses and force 18,000 Kuwaitis to abandon their homes and go stay in schools. These are amazing stories – learn your stories from your grandparents . . . and then come tell us all the stories in your own blogs. If you don’t have a blog, or if you want to share here, you are welcome.

Some of my Kuwait friends ask why I care more about these things than the Kuwaitis. First – my Kuwaiti friends care. In my country, we call these people “the silent majority.” Every now and then the majority energizes and asserts itself. Kuwaitis care. Change is happening, it happens slowly. Keep the faith.

Second – I live here. I may not be Kuwaiti, but I care about the places where I live. If God has placed me here, I trust that he has his reasons, and it is my obligation to him to learn as much as I can and to serve – wherever he may place me. He placed me in Kuwait.

Tomorrow I will print my very favorite part of this book – where it describes family living. Meanwhile, run out and buy your own copy. There is so much I am not covering. This book is a part of your heritage.

February 26, 2008 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Blogging, Books, Building, Community, Cultural, Friends & Friendship, Generational, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Weather | , ,

7 Comments »

  1. […] Scientific, embedded, biomedical, electronics contents. wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt I am quoting so much from Saleh Abdulghani Al-Mutawa. Architect, that you may think you don’t need to run out and buy the book but I assure you, I am only sharing with you a few of the gems I found within. The author has done so much research with such loving attention that the book is full of treasure, every page offers something worthy. The Year of Demolish It is a sad memorial in Kuwait’s history. In Rajab 1289 A.H. (i.e. in the middle of the nineteenth century), heavy rains accompanied b […]

    Pingback by History of Architecture in Old Kuwait City (3) | February 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. nice!!! I need to get my hands on this book.. the pics are beautiful and I am sure there is alot to learn from the book…

    Comment by Amu | February 26, 2008 | Reply

  3. Amu, if you find one, will you come back here and let us know where they are sold?

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 26, 2008 | Reply

  4. Lol exactly! where can we get it from? sounds really interesting… i never knew there were recorded events from 1928..

    Comment by vixenfatale | February 27, 2008 | Reply

  5. Vixenfatale – We are all looking! I found mine at a used book sale; I don’t know if it is still in print or still for sale – maybe Jarir, maybe Dar al Funoon – if you see it, please come back and tell us!

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 27, 2008 | Reply

  6. intlxpatr, thank you for these informative posts! you are a life-saver since am taking a course called “Indigenous Architecture” our prof asked for a paper on traditional Kuwaiti architecture and this book is gonna be so benificial!!
    Thanx again 🙂

    Comment by Abdullah | June 23, 2008 | Reply

  7. Abdullah, you just made my day.

    I have since come across other books at the Kuwait Book Store in Al Muthanna complex near Sheraton circle in downtown Kuwait. They have several excellent books on Gulf Architecture, and others featuring Kuwait architecture.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 26, 2008 | Reply


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